Accounting logics as a challenge for ERP system implementation: a field study of SAP

Heinzelmann, Rafael,(2017), Accounting logics as a challenge for ERP system implementation: a field study of SAP. , Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change Vol. 13 No. 2, 2017 pp. 162-187, UNSPECIFIED

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Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the accounting logic inscribed in the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and how this accounting logic becomes effective in organizations. The authors draw on the notion of accounting logics by mobilizing the institutional logics literature (Thornton et al., 2012). Accordingly, accounting logics are conceptualized as crucial underlying design principles consisting of system of beliefs, assumptions and ideas how accounting systems should be designed. Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopt a qualitative case study approach conducted in a manufacturing company, hereafter called Wood Plc. The primary data source is qualitative research interviews. Secondary data, such as internal documents, were collected to increase validity and reliability through data triangulation (Ahrens and Chapman, 2006; Scapens, 2004). Findings – The paper demonstrates how a particular accounting logic – the Germanic accounting logic – gets diffused throughout the organization by the means of the SAP ERP system, and creates challenges for management accounting practices in local entities. The contribution of the paper is to show that ERP systems can foster the diffusion of a specific accounting logic, which is inherently linked to the SAP system, and which enables a specific version of accounting to work in an organization. Research limitations/implications – This paper could be viewed as an extreme case of a German organization using the SAP ERP system with its Germanic accounting logic inscribed to make a German accounting logic work in the entire organization. Consequently, further research could unpack the relationship between accounting logics, ERP systems, accounting systems and their use by studying not only different empirical settings with respect to the organizational context but also the ERP software used by organizations. Practical implications – This paper aims to raise the awareness of practitioners of the conceptual underpinnings inscribed in the SAP accounting modules while at the same time pinpointing the potential challenges of implementation generated by the accounting logics. Originality/value – The paper complements existing studies on accounting and ERP systems by bringing the accounting logic inscribed in the SAP ERP system to the fore. More precisely, this paper shows that in the wake of SAP ERP implementation, the organization studied spread its assumptions and beliefs on accounting, which are manifested in the Germanic accounting logic inscribed in the SAP ERP system, in the organization. This invoked particular challenges in non-Germanic subsidiaries in making accounting work
Keywords : Cost and managerial accounting, Organizational change, ERP systems, SAP, Germanic,Accounting logics, Accounting practices, Institutional logics, UNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change Vol. 13 No. 2, 2017 pp. 162-187
Volume: 13
Number: 2
Item Type: Article
Subjects: Akuntansi
Depositing User: Gunawan Gunawan
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2019 00:57
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2019 00:57

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